The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We explore the role of business services in knowledge accumulation and growth and the determinants of knowledge diffusion including the role of distance. A continuous-time model is estimated on several European countries, Japan, and the United States. Policy simulations illustrate the benefits for EU growth of the deepening of the single market, the reduction of regulatory barriers, and the accumulation of technology and human capital. Our results support the basic insights of the Lisbon Agenda. Economic growth in Europe is enhanced to the extent that: trade in services increases, technology accumulation and diffusion increase, regulation becomes both less intensive and more uniform across countries, and human capital accumulation increases in all countries.